With a new year coming, a lot of people try to reform their habits in the hope of a healthier, happier future. Whether it’s implementing a weight loss routine, trying to eat healthier or keeping off the alcohol, it’s very common for New Year’s Resolutions to centre around improving self-care. In this article, we share some lifestyle tips which can help you have a healthy 2019.
The pursuit for ‘perfect skin’ is something many people are part of. From trying different creams, balms, oils and scrubs, to choosing a more natural approach, getting results is different for everyone. There is no right answer, which is why so many people can struggle to stumble upon something that works for them.
We spoke to Dr Joanne McCormark, a medical professional and blogger at Fat is my Friend. She spoke to us about how she advises patients get to the roots of their skin issues: “Beauticians advise on good skin care routines, and as a GP I advise on creating health from the inside out, with good routines for the body and mind. Take a person who eats mostly processed food, on the hop, who goes to bed late, and gets up early, who stays in a job which is stressful and unfulfilling, and uses caffeine, alcohol and/or drugs to cope. I once saw a girl who had a lifestyle like that, whose skin had broken out all over. No skincare routine was going to work by itself. I advised her to look at various aspects of her life, including a real food way of life, and two weeks later her skin had very much improved.
“There are many doctors, dietitians and health coaches who talk about eating whole unprocessed or minimally processed foods, drinking water, learning to relax, doing exercise, and learning to sleep well. Why should a skin routine help? The funny thing is that adopting one new routine or habit (even a simple one) can help you adopt other new routines or habits. With regard to food as medicine, you will benefit from thinking about higher nutrient versions of your chosen way of eating. Those increased nutrients will help your skin, as well as the rest of your body and mind.”
Understanding how you may affect your skin is something that’s vital to the process, and maybe even the most important part of your skincare routine. As Dr McCormark said, starting within can be the best way to see big differences. Then, you can start looking at various skincare products to help with the final steps.
We also spoke to Cheryl, a skincare scientist whose blog, Honesty For Your Skin, looks at the science behind skincare products. Cheryl told us why a good skincare routine is a positive habit to have: “Self-care can be a challenge in our modern world so it’s important to fit in self-care habits where you can. Taking 5 minutes of ‘you time’ can trick a busy mind into meditatively cleansing, exfoliating, treating and moisturising. It’s also important to remember your emotions are triggered by outside-in and inside-out factors i.e. if your skin’s looking tired, congested or has become prone to fine lines, this can impact the way you see, view and feel about yourself. A great skincare routine can therefore not only help you relax i.e. feel good from the inside-out but can also help your skin to become glowing and radiant i.e. feel good from the outside-in.”
Cheryl then told us what she would recommend someone who was looking to find a new skincare regime do: “Firstly I would strongly recommend identifying one aspect of your skin you’d love to improve – it could be hydration, oil balance, redness or even congestion. Secondly, I’d recommend understanding which active skincare ingredients can help improve your concern i.e. zinc PCA for oil balance. This will be the guiding hand for finding your perfect treatment product – one which has the maximum potential to bring you noticeable results. It’s also a fantastic help to understand what’s in your existing skincare and therefore which new active ingredients may bring you even better results.”
As one of the most popular new year’s resolutions, many people have tried switching to a healthy diet and have struggled. That’s why instead of simply encouraging ‘healthy eating’ we believe 2019 should be about understanding our diets. Once you fully understand your diet, you’ll know the areas that need most improvement and will be able to work slowly and gradually to get to a place you are happy with.
We spoke to Jane, a nutritional therapist and blogger at Vital Nutrition. Jane spoke to us about why a healthy diet can be life-changing: “A good diet, packed with nourishing, healthy foods not only helps us to feel better physically but can help support our mental wellbeing too. I am not keen on the idea of going on a diet, instead, I think we should focus on eating well for the good of our health – to make us feel and function better. No matter whether your diet needs a little bit of fine-tuning, or a complete overhaul, making a few changes to the food you buy and eat is almost guaranteed to improve your health.”
Jane explains how to get into a new eating routine: “I always suggest starting with the simple changes. Think about what you eat right now and work out where you could tweak it a little to give yourself a nutritional boost. Instead of setting yourself an unrealistic New Year’s Resolution, set small, manageable challenges. Maybe drink one extra glass of water a day as you wait for the kettle to boil or get into the habit of making an extra portion of dinner to pack into a lunchbox for leftovers at lunchtime the next day. It really is the simple changes that make the big difference to our health and wellbeing.”
Having a healthy 2019 means more than just self-care. It can also mean trying to leave a more positive impact on the world. The uptake in green living has rocketed this year, and people are more environmentally conscious than ever. Making changes that are positive for our planet is another thing people can do to have a healthy 2019.
We spoke to Katie and Ben, bloggers at Two Wandering Soles. Katie and Ben are travellers committed to being green. They told us why it is so important to them: “We don’t have to tell you that the environment is in jeopardy. We’ve all seen those terrifying videos of ‘trash islands’ in the ocean and animals found with plastic in their stomach. We’ve heard scary statistics about how climate change is impacting our world and predictions about what life will be 50 years from now if things don’t change.”
They then explained why being green can be positive in your life: “Making a conscious effort to live greener can positively impact the earth, your health and your wallet. And it’s easier than you think.
“Start small: There are so many habits you can easily change and swaps you can make that won’t alter your lifestyle at all. Society seems to focus on recycling a lot, and while it is certainly a good thing, we should first be reducing the amount of waste we create to begin with. Begin by ridding your life of as many single-use plastics as possible. Get reusables: bags, utensils, water bottles, straws. And keep them handy in your car or bag so you’re always prepared to say no to single-use plastics.
“And additionally, think about each purchase you make. Choose local produce instead of food that has been shipped from far away. Can you shop at a second-hand store instead of buying new clothing? Reduce the amount of meat you consume.
“There are so many ways to live greener and it all starts with making a decision to be more conscious of your purchases and aware of the impact your lifestyle has on the world around you. Do a little research and you will start uncovering many small ways you can make a difference. Remember, all those small things do add up.”
Exercising is something that appears on most peoples’ New Year’s Resolution lists. There is no better time than now to start forming an exercise routine, and there are many ways you can start. Our boot camps, for instance, are great for someone who is looking for some professionally guided advice. They offer a camp that looks at more than just routines, they also help educate on why exercise is important, talk about nutrition and more.
We spoke to Poppy Cross, journalist, personal trainer and fitness blogger. Poppy’s whole life is dedicated to self-improvement and her main is “for every human to achieve their full potential.” Poppy spoke to us about how she advises people to start out on a new fitness journey: “Starting a new habit can be daunting so the best thing you can do is to make it SMART. This acronym stands for Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic, Time-Specific. This method of setting new goals is the most conducive for starting and sticking to a habit. You need to start at the start and not set the bar too high which leads to low morale when targets are not met and a high drop-out level. Yet start sensibly and step by step you will see improvements which will give you the motivation to continue in the same direction.
“How would someone who hasn’t had a routine before begin to form one? Set SMART goals! If you feel you don't know where to start with them then ask a personal trainer to help you. Together you can discuss your goals and where you are currently at with your training. The PT can then give you some short and long-term goals which are best suited to take you where you want to be. Make sure you tell friends, family and colleagues about your new goals so they can encourage you and better still maybe even train with you at times. Working out together can make it more fun and the more support you have the better.”
We spoke to Rachel Lawrence, blogger and YouTuber known as The Girl With The Pilates Mat. Rachel spoke to us about why she believes Pilates is such a positive habit to start: “Pilates is an incredibly positive habit to start as we emphasize deep breathing, focus and concentration which makes it a great stress reliever as well as the best exercise method I’ve come across, and I’ve been exercising for over forty years!
“Pilates is suitable for all ages and fitness levels. I have clients from 16 to over 80 taking part in classes, some with no fitness background at all and that is the beauty of it. It is an exercise regime which works for everyone creating both strength and flexibility in the body. There are many physical benefits from taking regular classes such as a strong core, relief from back and joint pain, improved muscle tone, rehabilitation and prevention of injury, and, my clients tend to notice a reduction in their waistline which always brings a smile to their face!”
Rachel then gave us her three tips for Pilates beginners:
The final thing is simply to focus on positivity. For your 2019 to be the best, and healthiest, year of your life, it’s important to focus on positivity. Focusing on the good, not the bad, will help you achieve the rest of your goals and live the year with a sunnier outlook. There are many ways to cut negativity out of your life, and by using them you’ll find it much easier to be happy and healthy.